Land of the Free and Home of the Brave
Websites I rely on:
Free-Market.Net Freedom Network The Henry Hazlitt Foundation supports the ideas of liberty, including individual freedom, voluntary cooperation, and free enterprise. We believe that freedom and free markets are absolutely essential for human peace, prosperity, and happiness.
Soldiers for the Truth SFTT was founded as a grassroots educational organization started by a small group of concerned citizens to inform the American public, the Congress and the media of the decline in combat readiness. It is a non-profit organization with 501 (c) 3 status (all contributions are tax deductible). SFTT's board of trustees and friends includes a wide spectrum of military and civilian experience, including WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm.
Further reading regarding this issue:
Law Enforcement is Being Trained to Kill vs. Protect From the "Endangered Liberties" Television Program. By Lisa Dean
Spotlight on Police Militarization A weekly feature edited by J.D. Tuccille. When good cops go bad October 28, 1999
The FBI's sniper under fire by Mike Tharp. A controversial agent is at the center of the Waco investigation.
The Militarization of Police Forces by Jim Geraghty, Policy.com
Police or military? We would do well to know the difference By Charley Reese. It's probably a good time to think about what appears to be a growing problem -- the militarization of civilian police agencies.
Death of warrior culture dooms military By Don Feder. Tom Cruise, move over. The military has its own mission impossible -- recruiting and keeping key personnel
David H. Hackworth These pages are designed to introduce you to Colonel Hackworth and keep you up to date with his writings and personal mission to: "ensure that American troops are never put in harm's way without the right training, the right equipment, the right leadership, and the right mission."
The general wields an accusation by Mona Charen. She was a feminist pin-up girl, a woman who rose through the Army's ranks to attain the title of three-star general. Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy was awarded the 1998 "Living Patriot Award" by the Women's International Center and listed among America's top 10 female role models by Ms. Magazine. She was well-respected among her Army colleagues and just preparing for retirement.
Marines landing -- in North Carolina To conduct random checkpoint searches, patrol neighborhoods. By David M. Bresnahan.
Stuff that scares the bejeesus out of me:
L.A. Police criticized after mix-up in raid, shooting death of Latino by Jill Serjeant. Los Angeles-area police, already criticized for being too quick to pull the trigger, came under criticism again Thursday for storming the home of an unarmed 65-year-old Latino grandfather and shooting him to death.
Another Drug War Casualty by Timothy Lynch. The next time a politician says the government needs to take a "tougher stand against drugs," we ought to pause and think about what happened to Pedro Oregon Navarro. Last summer six Houston police officers barged into Oregon's home and shot him to death. The police thought they were raiding the home of a drug dealer, but they were mistaken.
Trails End: A Memorial to Donald Scott On October 2, 1992 Malibu California millionaire Donald Scott was shot to death inside his own home, during a raid by Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and agents from five federal law enforcement agencies.
Sorry about America, Elian by Pete du Pont. I thought the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, a part of our Bill of Rights, guaranteed "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures." Could there be a more violent infringement of this right than to have government commandos armed with submachine guns forcibly abduct you into the night? While your case is pending in a federal court? Considering you are neither a violent nor criminal person, but a 6-year old child?
Another Waco Death NewsMax.com April 30, 2000 Death has once again claimed a figure in a case involving the Clinton administration - this time a key expert witness in the Waco investigation who insisted that he found compelling evidence that an FBI agent fired shots during the final showdown at the Branch Davidian compound. Police say they are investigating the death as a murder.
A dangerous day for all Americans By Paul Craig Roberts. Americans could run out of freedom before they know it.
Sources I'm not quite sure about:
THE BULLY SOAPBOX
This is where I will make my impassioned plea for whatever has my dander up currently. Past rants can be found below the current call to arms.
3. Warriors and Peacekeepers are not interchangeable
There are two disturbing trends in this country. Police are becoming more militant and soldiers are being domesticated. This is not good for either group and it's very bad for the citizens and the Republic. The traditional roles of the military and police are so alien to each other that it's the height of folly to believe that one can do the job of the other or employ their techniques without severe damage to themselves and the citizens they serve.
The police motto that everyone recalls is "To Protect and Serve" and that's a darn nice motto. You'll find out in a hurry that they are not obligated to protect you if you ever try to take a police department to court for failure to do so, but most try to protect citizens anyway as best they can within the restraints imposed on them by law.
In my dealings with the police to date, including two arrests for DUI, I have always honored the Social Contract by respecting the uniform, and submitting to the authority that the officer wearing it deserves. I have always been treated with respect as a citizen in return. I'm not saying this is everyone's experience. I'm not black or young, but I do maintain the appearance of a sixties throwback which is supicious to some. I've never been mistreated because I fit a particular "profile".
But how can one respect the uniform when plainsclothes stormtroopers break down your door in the middle of the night with weapons drawn? The "War on Drugs", a national disgrace all its own, has given us militarized police forces. Even small cities have SWAT teams now. This is a dangerous development. Which would you rather see coming up your Mayberry driveway: the calm problem-solving Sheriff Andy or an over-excited Deputy Barney in flak jacket with his bullet chambered and ready to fire a warning shot through your liver?
Use of overwhelming force to eliminate the threat is the essence of military training. This is completely at odds with the role of a police force which is to enforce the laws of the land without harming anyone, if possible.
Do you think we would have experienced the tragedies of Ruby Ridge and Waco if not for the military solution mindset of the agencies involved? The greatest injustice is that the only people punished in these incidents are the victims. The loose cannon sharpshooter, Lon Horiuchi, who murdered Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge was also at Waco and he is still loose today and ready to be used as a cannon again when the agency needs him. The "only following orders" defense didn't work for the Germans in Nuremberg. Why is it working here? Lon and those who issued the orders should be sharing the same jail cell. I have no sympathy for the Weavers' or the Branch Davidians' philosophy, but when their Rights were trampled, mine were too.
Many lessor known incidents have put innocent citizens like Mario Paz, Pedro Oregon Navarro, and Donald Scott in the cemetary.
We'd all be better off if the police agencies go back to being peace officers and abandon the warrior concept of law enforcement. Many of us can sleep at night in comfort knowing that the police are out there ready to suffer injury, if necessary, to protect us. The job won't be done until all law-abiding citizens enjoy that comfort.
At the same time our police have become more lethal to us, our wayward national leaders have hamstrung our real war fighters with ill-conceived peace-keeping missions in far-flung lands. They've also been busy tranforming our forces into a kinder, gentler, more politically correct military.
I don't have anything against women in the front lines, but I'm not an expert. My beef is against dropping the training standards. People that can't make the grade physically or mentally, man or woman, do not belong on the front lines. Lives depend on it. I'm sure some women can meet the training requirements without a double-standard. I've met more than one I'm sure could beat the stuffin' out of me if it came down to a tussle. Training can't be politically correct. It must be tough if the soldier is to survive the horrors of battle. Killing does not come natural to a sane, civilized person. S/he must be broken down mentally and physically, then built back up into a trained killer. The enemy you meet in the woods isn't going to worry about your "self-esteem" as s/he cuts your throat.
When push comes to shove and our leaders fail us again, It's your neighbors from the heartland who will finish the fight, not those from inside the beltway. Our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers in military service need the best training and equipment we can provide so that as many of them as possible come home to us sound in mind and body.
Right now our forces are in the worst condition since the end of the Vietnam War. Everytime the President gets caught in his corruption, we have another "Operation Free Willie" as a diversion. This man has killed more with executive orders than all law-abiding citizens have killed in self-defense combined. These misadventures that have nothing to do with our national interests along with the "peace dividend" demobilization in the early nineties have bled out our military preparedness in the last decade. Our weapon stocks have been depleted and our disillusioned forces are stationed pell-mell over the globe in peace-keeping roles that they were not trained for and that takes the edge off their ability to carry out their real role of war fighting.
When our leaders "talk the talk", it's the grunt that has to "walk the walk". I have never served in the military. I fought my draft board to stay out of Vietnam. I do not regret that. I did not participate in the anti-war protests. I still do not believe in conscription for undeclared wars and "police actions". I do regret with shame that I did not support the soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and nurses who did fight that dirty war. I remained neutral towards them. I support them and all veterans now and will for the rest of my life. These are the people that have given up blood and treasure for the rest of us. In the thick of battle they may be fighting for survival only but most initially signed on because of words like "Duty, Honor, Country". Their efforts allow us to enjoy the Rights that haven't been stolen from us yet. It's just too bad that not many of the Beltway Brass remember the West Point motto.
I grew up in the fifties and sixties. In public school, the history of this great country was presented through rose-colored glasses. Not exactly the way it was, but the way it should be. My young chest swelled with pride to be an American.
That was over thirty-five years ago. I'm still proud to be an American, but I am infinitely saddened, alarmed, angered, disgusted, embarrassed and left feeling betrayed by the acts of those we have entrusted with the caretaking of our republic and some of the responsibility for those acts must fall on my own shoulders for not performing my duties as a citizen.
In September 1999, I turned fifty years of age on a train ride home to Pennslyvania. I spent a considerable amount of time in reflection as I watched the passing scenery. I resolved not to neglect my duties as a citizen any longer. My thoughts recalled Edmund Burke's famous quote "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
It's not my way to harrass others with my views. I'm not an evangelist. I urge everybody to do their own research and follow their hearts. But PLEASE do the research. The mass media is not your friend! The opinions I express here are based upon where my research has led me.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued Friday April 7, 2000
Updated Thursday June 22, 2000
copyright © 1996-2000 Larry Robert Kephart all rights reserved